The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 99, July 1995 - April, 1996

Book Reviews

1970s. Patrick Dearen mentions this sighting in Portraits of the Pecos Frontier
Boyd writes well. Presented in a flowing chronological style that admirably
summarizes the subject, it provides an excellent supplement to the detailed gov-
ernment reports and published scholarly studies which Boyd cites in the bibliog-
raphy. Her interest in the subject dates from 1982, when she participated in a
reenactment in California's Mojave Desert of an 1861 boundary survey that had
used camels. She succeeds in her goal of enlightening readers about the role
played by camels in American history.
Sul Ross State University EARL H. ELAM
Arbuckles: The Coffee That Won the West. By Francis Fugate. (El Paso: Texas Western
Press, 1994. Pp. 233. Contents, introduction, acknowledgments, appen-
dices, notes, bibliography. ISBN 0-870404-203-5. $50.00.)
The tantalizing smell of a fresh pot of coffee greeting westward travelers on
the Oregon Trail and cowboys when they finished work has long been part of
western lore. Now, in Arbuckles: The Coffee That Won the West, Francis Fugate gives
us a thorough account of how one man and one company set about solving the
problem of making a consistently good cup of coffee. This well-documented
book makes absorbing reading for students and scholars as well as anyone inter-
ested in visionary leaders, food history, and marketing techniques. Fugate delves
diligently into the details, such as the coffee mill designed to fit in the butt stock
of a Sharps carbine so that Union soldiers could readily grind their coffee beans,
and tells a good story. Arbuckles is as entertaining as it is enlightening.
In recounting Arbuckle's rise to fame, Fugate briefly traces the history of cof-
fee cultivation and the emergence of coffee as a social drink in European coffee
houses, and then details the "inventive proclivity" that led John Arbuckle to
investigate "how to roast coffee in such a way as to preserve its freshness ...
between the roaster and the coffee pot" (p. 29). By eliminating the time-con-
suming task of roasting green coffee beans each time a pot of coffee was brewed
and by selling roasted coffee in bags like peanuts, Arbuckle revolutionized the
coffee industry.
Arbuckles also considers the business side of the story, as John Arbuckle and his
partners waged a price war against the sugar trust, built their own fleet to convey
coffee beans from suppliers to their factories, and sent out an army of agents to
sell the coffee. Colorful illustrations and commentary about trading cards and
the early use of gifts for premiums add interest to this fascinating book. Though
Arbuckle's use of coated roasted beans gave his Ariosa brand its flavor, his use of
successful advertising and packaging made him a millionaire and his coffee a
part of western history. The book is a useful addition to the food history of the
nineteenth-century American West.



Seattle, Washington


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 99, July 1995 - April, 1996. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed July 25, 2014.